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Five Tips for Sharing the Roads With Large Trucks in Illinois

Not all trucking accidents are preventable, but there are things drivers can do to improve their safety while sharing the roads with tractor-trailers.

Collisions involving tractor-trailers and smaller, passenger automobiles are all too common on the roads throughout the state of Illinois. In fact, the Illinois Department of Transportation reports there were 11,301 trucking accidents across the state in 2016 alone. Due to the significant difference in size between such vehicles, these types of accidents often result in serious injuries or death for those involved. Although people may not be able to prevent all such wrecks, there are things they can do when sharing the road with large trucks to help improve their safety.

Be Aware of Limited Maneuverability

Due to their size and weight, tractor-trailers are not as easy to maneuver as cars. For example, truck operators may have to swing their vehicles wide or initiate a turn from a middle, as opposed to the far right, lane to make a safe turn. Drivers are advised to keep the limitations of these vehicles in mind and to refrain from attempting to squeeze by large commercial vehicles that have their turn signals on.

Allow Extra Space

Unlike smaller passenger automobiles and performance cars that can stop on a dime, fully-loaded commercial trucks require a much greater stopping time and distance. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration points out that tractor-trailers may need the distance of nearly two football fields to stop safely when traveling at highway speeds in good conditions. When sharing the road with these vehicles, people should be patient and allow them an extra berth.

Stay Out of the Blind Spots

Tractor-trailers, busses and other large commercial vehicles have large blind spots that extend up to 20 feet to the front and 30 feet to the rear, as well as along both sides. When motorists are in these areas, or "no zones" as they are often referred to, the truck drivers may not be able to see their vehicles. Therefore, drivers should use care to stay out of these areas if they can or to move through them as quickly as possible.

Be Cautious When Passing

Passing tractor-trailers is one of the most hazardous maneuvers drivers can perform while sharing the road. Motorists, who may be in a truck's blind spot, should ensure they can see the driver in the truck's side mirror before attempting to pass. In addition, motorists should be able to see the truck in their rear view mirror before they merge back into the right lane. Further, it is recommended that motorists make sure there is enough available road in front of the truck to safely complete the maneuver. Drivers should avoid situations in which they move in front of a tractor-trailer and then suddenly slow or stop as this may result in rear-end collisions.

Avoid Distractions

Engaging in distracting behaviors while driving is always dangerous; however, it may be more hazardous for motorists when sharing the road with commercial trucks. Particularly when traveling alongside tractor-trailers and other large vehicles, it is advisable that people refrain from talking on the phone, texting or otherwise taking their focus off the task of driving. This may help ensure they are alert and able to respond to changes in the driving conditions, hazards or other situations, which may prevent some serious trucking accidents.

Seeking Legal Counsel

When people in Illinois are injured as a result of truck accidents, they may require extensive medical treatment, as well as time off work to recover. Consequently, they may incur unexpected medical bills and lose income. Under some circumstances, though, the truck operator or trucking companies involved may be held liable for these and other resulting damages. Thus, those who have suffered injuries in trucking collisions may find it helpful to discuss their rights and options with an attorney to learn more about pursuing financial compensation.

Client Reviews
Shawn Collins is a very talented lawyer, as are all the attorneys on his team. I've known and worked with Shawn for more that 30 years. Not only is he a top notch technical litigator but his communication skills are second to none. If anyone I know is ever in need of an attorney, Shawn is my very first recommendation. He gives very solid advice that goes beyond the law. He is someone you can trust to tell you the truth so you are not lead astray in the complex legal world. You really can't find a better advocate. E.M.
We were incredibly satisfied with our experience with The Collins Law Firm. We worked closely with Ed Manzke and found that he had a personal touch and truly got to know us in addition to being knowledgeable and effective in his field. The caring and individual attitude helped us tremendously throughout the entire process and we always felt like our case was in safe hands. We would highly recommend The Collins Law Firm for both its stellar work and dedicated employees. M.A.
My father recommended The Collins Law Firm to me after watching Shawn Collins and Ed Manzke at trial representing Lisle residents against Lockformer. For years, he told us courtroom tales about Shawn and Ed, citing their incredible skill as trial lawyers and how they put the huge Lockformer legal team to shame. So when my son was the victim of a wrongful death, they were my first and only choice. I can't say enough to truly express how grateful I am to The Collin's Law Firm for all that they did for me and my family. This amazing team advocated for me in my darkest moments, surpassing my expectations in every way. I will be forever grateful to Shawn and Ed. K.D.
I have worked with Rob, Shawn and The Collins Law Firm team in connection with both complex business transactions and litigation over the past several years. Shawn is far and away the best business litigation attorney I have worked with. Rob has been our lead attorney on M&A and corporate restructures, and he has delivered each time, and on time. I would highly recommend Rob to get the deal done! W.D.
Rob has been our out-side General Counsel for ten years. As a business with a global presence, it is important that we have the very best legal representation. Rob and the team have guided us through litigation battles, negotiating and drafting our important business contracts, and advising us in our business strategies. He has a great team of lawyers working with him. M.F.